By Pat Bywater
The Meadville Thunder in the City Classic Car and Bike Show is looking to give back to its host city by setting up a fund for improvements.
Fifth Annual Thunder in the City Chairman Dave Stone announced Friday that money in excess of the amount needed to pay for the event will be dedicated to facade or capital improvements in downtown Meadville. With two more weeks to go to register vendors for this year’s Aug. 2 and 3 event, Stone said he already expects a few thousand dollars to go to the new fund.
Stone said the fund will be directed by the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce, which devotes considerable staff time and resources to organizing Thunder in the City. Stone said the Chamber’s Board decided to establish the fund as a way to give back to the many businesses and institutions that help sponsor the event and to show community residents appreciation for their support. Since its modest start nearly five years ago, the event has become a regional draw with attendance as high as 15,000 people.
The planning for this year’s event is nearly complete, Stone said.
The free fun begins in downtown Meadville Aug. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. with the Channellock Challenge Bike Competition with awards in several categories. There is a car cruise-in at Lang Motors at 5 p.m., and vendors sell their wares and food on Chestnut Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic from Diamond Park to Market Street. The Porcelain Bus Drivers will play on a stage near the Pit Stop bar at Chestnut Street and Park Avenue at 6 p.m.
Events, again all free, run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 3. A classic car show is set for Diamond Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with vendors operating from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Inflatables and other activities for kids will be set up in the park.
The Third Annual Rusty Hanaway Memorial Bike Parade begins forming at Street Track ‘n Trail on the Conneaut Lake Road early that morning and begins its procession into Meadville at 10:30 a.m., joined by a Corvette parade that forms at Community Chevrolet on the Conneaut Lake Road. Allegheny College President Jim Mullen will serve as grand marshall of the Corvette parade.
A 3:30 p.m. there is a motorcycle run out to Pymatuning Lake and back.
A full slate of bands is set for the stage near Pit Stop bar at Chestnut Street and Park Avenue. They are: noon, The Grayhounds; 2 p.m., Splitting Charlie; 5, Familiar Spirit Band; 7, Rick and the Roadhouse Rockers.
To learn more about the Fifth Annual Thunder in the City, visit meadvillethunder.com or call the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce at 337-8030.
There’s still time to sign up for a vendor spot at the Fifth Annual Thunder in the City, which is expected to draw as many as 15,000 people to downtown Meadville. A vendor application and information is available at meadvillethunder.com or by calling the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce at 337-8030.